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August 28, 2008

Netbook War Heats Up; LG Debuts 3G Netbook

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributing Editor

LG Electronics (News - Alert) announced a planned October launch of its new netbook-class laptop PC with embedded third-generation (3G) features.

The laptop, LG X110, is based on Intel’s (News - Alert) 1.6GHz Atom processor. X110 comes with a High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) cellular data modem compatible with newer 3G networks, said LG. HSPA is a revolutionary technology capable of offering download speeds of several megabits per second. The technology is evolving to offer higher megabit-per-second uploads as well.
The laptop also supports 802.11b/g wireless local area network (LAN) and has a wired Ethernet connector.
The new LG device has a 10-inch Wide Super Video Graphics Array (WSVGA) resolution (1,024 by 600 pixels) screen. The PC runs on Windows XP Home operating system.
The new netbook PC features conventional hard-disk drive and offers models with either 80GB or 120GB of capacity. Many netbooks available today use faster solid-state disks (SSDs) based on flash memory chips, but they typically offer much lower capacity.
Solid-state disks are used in high profile laptops such as the MacBook Air, Asus Eee PC and ThinkPad X300. However, a report citing Todd Dinkelman, an applications engineer at Micron, said SSDs wear out due to data writes to the disk, which, in turn, is based on usage patterns.
Though hard-disk drives have endurance problems of their own, solid-state devices are particularly sensitive to the repeated writing of data to one area of the drive, said Dinkelman. SSD manufacturers are looking at a solution, which will control the way data is written on SSDs, to mitigate this flaw.
LG X110 will be available in several colors, including white, pink, or silver, said the company. There was no announcement about the price of the netbook.
At IFA, Fujitsu Siemens (News - Alert) reportedly launched its first netbook, the Amilo Mini, on Wednesday. Amilo Mini runs on 1.6GHz version of Intel’s Atom processor and is available with several configurations. It features a hard disk storage capacity of 30GB-80GB, according to Bjorn Fehrm, a company representative.
The netbook market is thriving with high-end versions as well as small, inexpensive models. Asustek, the leader in netbooks market, recently announced its plans to introduce three new Eee PC netbook models.
IDC (News - Alert), a global market researcher, predicted worldwide shipments of netbooks would touch 9.2 million in 2012 from just 430,000 units in 2007.

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Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Mae Kowalke

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